Dare to Hope
Staring defeat in the face; this is what makes hope brave.
What happens when you find out a loved one has Cancer? What is your response when your wife decides she doesn't want your marriage, anymore? How do you deal with the fact that depression is your most familiar companion?
It's understandable to want to crawl in a hole. It's expected to see these issues as devastating. It's empowering, however, to dress oneself in hope.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for. It's the evidence of things not seen, right? So basically faith is comprised of invisible hope. Whatever I see before me, as bleak as it may be, there is something more. There is hope. Even when we don't see it, it's there. Believing it's there is hopeful. And when things are full of hope they are given life and exist in the form of faith.
"Dress yourself in hope". What does that mean? It means verbally thanking God for bills paid & wants given even when the money isn't in your bank account. It means rejoicing in His goodness when your heart has been repeatedly broken by disappointing people. It means thanking God for the promises He has placed in your heart regardless of the problems that are blocking your vision. It means doing these things and believing that they are really being done, even when you can't see it.
I've been on the scary side of life, where things are dark. I've had my vision blurred. Yet still, I dare to hope. That's not just a cool sentence... it's a real thing. Check out this incredible passage in Lamentations:
The portion I underlined was great. It's the glorious part(Sidenote: We love to highlight the good stuff!). If you'll look right above that underlined, "glorious" part to see what led up to the hope... that's bravery. If we can dress ourselves in hope, we prepare ourselves and pave the way to walk in faith. We are empowered despite our inadequacies. We find relief from our stress. We rise above the disaster that once caused us to stumble. And really... How brave of you, friend, to have gone through what you've gone through and still find the courage to believe in something more.
Real talk: life is hard. The author penned it so perfectly saying "I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope..." and I get it. Not everything is shiny, sparkly and magically fixed. But let's be brave, encouraged and empowered. Even while staring defeat in the face, let's dare to hope.